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Quotes: Day 11 of Training Camp

Head Coach Bill O'Brien

OLB Jadeveon Clowney

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

WR DeAndre Hopkins

CB Kareem Jackson

WR Andre Johnson

WR EZ  Nwachukwu

LB Brooks Reed

DE J.J. Watt

Coach Bill O'Brien
(on if it is safe to safe if Jonathan Grimes would start on Saturday) "No. No it is not safe to say that."

(on Jadeveon Clowney saying today that he will start) "He'll start? Really?"

(on how he feels about Jadeveon Clowney saying he is starting) "That's news to me. I don't know. We'll find out when the game starts."

(on a play timeline for Jadeveon Clowney) "No."

(on if there is a set number of plays for each player) "It's a little bit of both. You know, you go into it wanting to make sure that your substitutions are correct, your play calling is smooth, and substitutions on special teams are smooth. You want the operation of the game to go well. If it's not, you've got determine that as a head coach and figure out how much longer certain guys need to be in there. We'll see how the game plays out. Also it has to do with how we're playing on both sides of the ball. But we have a plan going in and then we'll see how the game goes."

(on if both Case Keenum and Tom Savage will get reps with the second team) "Yeah. Yes."

(on if Arian Foster and Andre Johnson will play) "No. Nope."

(on if he has a plan going into the game and the plan for what he wants to walk away from the game with) "Certainly. You want to come away from this game having the ability to evaluate all the players that are healthy enough to play in the game. So you've got to make sure you have enough of these guys on film whether it is special teams, offense or defense, to make sure you give them a fair evaluation with their first opportunity on the field against a different opponent. You've had a bunch of practices, 12 practices or whatever it has been, and now it is time to get an evaluation against another team. We've got to make sure that all of these guys, whatever their play time is as the game goes on, that all of them, each individual, has given themselves a fair opportunity to represent themselves on tape to us."

(on if training camp performances and preseason performances weigh differently) "No. I wouldn't say it is weigh more or weigh less. I think it is just another opportunity to evaluate these guys. You know, obviously, you can't simulate totally a game out on the practice field. That would be almost impossible to do. You certainly try to do that with your intensity and things like that. But you know, sometimes you're not in pads, so obviously, that is different. To me though, this is another opportunity for these guys to go out there and play against an opponent that is a really good opponent and see how they do."

(on if Ryan Fitzpatrick has a different program than a typical veteran quarterback because he is new) "No. I wouldn't say we give him more or less time. I think we go into the game saying, 'look, we want to see things.' You know, at some point in time he'll come out of the game because we've got to give the other two guys a look to. As far as his playing time and how much he will play, we have a plan in mind, but we'll see how it plays out in the game. I think what's important for people to understand is you have a plan going into the game and then depending on how the game goes, the plan has to change. Let's say for instance you go into the game, OK, and the very first kickoff of the game, you know, whoever is kicking off to whoever is a touchdown run the other way. Ok, well that changes how you play offense and defense or that changes what unit of the ball is out on the field first. There are all kinds of situations that come up in a game that you have to have a plan going in but you have to be able to adjust that plan during the game."

(on the experimental extra point and other rules being used in preseason) "I think in this league we have great kickers. Guys with strong legs, accurate kickers, and so, guys that can kick the ball high, and I think extending the uprights is the right thing to do because that is a different call whether it is from the camera angle or for the referee. I think that is the right thing to do. And then I think, I'm a believer in making the points worth something if that makes any sense, so I think backing it up and doing it as an experiment in the preseason, I'm talking about the point after attempt, I believe is the right thing to do and see how it goes and see how it works out."

(on when he found out about owner Bob McNair's medical issues and his conversations with Mr. McNair) "I would say that anything between myself and Mr. McNair will stay between myself and Mr. McNair as far as when I found out and all those things. But I know this; He's a fantastic owner, I've really enjoyed I think it is my eight months or maybe seven months on the job working for him. He's a guy that you can talk to and you can talk honestly with. He gives you an honest opinion back. I think that is all you can ask for from your owner. He's very, very supportive of our football team here and what we're trying to do here. You know, obviously, in this city, he's got the best medical care available and I know he's taken advantage of that."

(on if he is satisfied with the quarterback play up to this point) "You know, I don't know if you're ever satisfied with anything. You always come off the practice field and you think you could have coached something better or somebody could have played better. I know this: these guys have worked extremely hard. We've asked a lot of them. We've put a lot on their plate, and so to that point, I'm very satisfied with the time that they've put in and now I'd like them to see them go out there and play a solid game."

(on how he feels about turf versus natural grass) "Well, I'm a believer in natural grass. I do, I do believe that if you look at the percentages of injuries, natural grass to artificial field turf, I think it is probably a little bit hire with field turf. That is just a stat that I believe is true. I'm a believer in natural grass, but at the same time I think we've got to do our part as an organization to make sure that our field is in good shape. Now that field last night I know was not our football field, but you know, I know for a fact that Mr. McNair or Rick Smith and myself are always talking about how to improve things. The field, we feel good about at this point, our field, but we'll see how it plays out as the year goes on. I prefer natural grass. I like natural grass. That's my opinion, but I'm not the boss. I'm the football coach, but I have a boss that determines, Mr. McNair, whether we do that in the end, but I like natural grass."

(on whether the Texans will play home games on natural turf this year) "As far as I know, yeah, we'll play them on the trays that they bring in. The natural turf, yeah."

(on whether the team would bring a quarterback in this late into training camp) "Well first of all, going back to that particular position, at this point in time where we are through 11 practices, like I said before to your other question about satisfied with where these guys are at, I think these guys have put a lot of time in and they've worked extremely hard to learn our system and they've had their good moments and their bad moments on the field. I think Fitzy (Ryan Fitzpatrick) has really improved. He is very comfortable with the offense. We're looking forward to how all three of these guys play in these games, starting with Arizona. But again, to the general point of your question, anytime we have a chance to in our opinion improve our football team, we're going to look to do that."

(on if he has nerves going into his first game as an NFL head coach) "I think any time, whether you are a coach or a player and whether it is your first game or your 500th game, you know, you always have the so called butterflies. To me, it's good. It's good to have that. You're excited about the opportunity. You're excited about the game. Football is such a unique sport because you practice way more than you play, and the practices are very tough, so all the hard work that goes into these practices then leads to one opportunity per week, whether it is preseason or regular season. I told these guys the other night it is very important that every time we take the field that we go out there with the mission that we want to win the game and we want to play well. So I'm looking forward to that and we'll all be very excited when we get to go out there and play against a fantastic Arizona Cardinals team."

OLB Jadeveon Clowney
(on how it felt to be back out at practice) "It felt great. I'm trying to get back into the groove of practicing again and being back out there with my teammates."

(on what was wrong with him) "There were just being real careful with me, just taking it slow with me. I'm trying to just get back right now."

(on if he'll be ready for game action on Saturday) "Yeah, I'll be playing."

(on being able to play in the first preseason game) "It means a lot, being out there with my teammates, learning what to do. Just (to) get that first initial contact with the opposite team and just learn what other guys do in the league. So it's going to be great for me."

(on the challenge of getting into game shape) "Just run to the ball. It's football. Just rush (to) the ball. It doesn't matter where it goes onto the field. Just get to the ball."

(on if he's 100 percent in everything he's doing on the field) "I'm just taking it one day at a time. I'm out here doing what I can do to help the team and going forward with that."

(on how many plays he'll play) "They didn't say. I'm just going with whatever coach wants me to do. I'm just going to go."

(on if he's going to start) "Yeah."

(on how excited he is to play in his first NFL game) "I'm very excited. It's something I've been dreaming about, something I've been waiting for a long time. It's coming up fast and I'm just looking forward to it."

(on how much more he still has to learn) "Oh, man, a lot. Just little things here and there. Small stuff like games we run and stuff like that. I'm really getting the defense down and learning more and more every day."

(on if he has to keep things simple right now) "We've got a game plan. I'm just going to go over the game plan. I know the game plan. I'm just ready for it."

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
(on if he's excited to play in his first game) "I'm really excited to get back to Arizona, that's where I'm from so I'll get a chance to see family and stuff so I'm excited to get on the field with these guys.  It's a preseason game, we are going to go out there and try to be sharp and execute our assignments and make sure we come out of the game healthy.  It's important for us just to go out there and be sharp, quick decisions and all that stuff."

(on if he has any jitters being with a new team) "No, it's kind of old hat at this point.  The preseason is different than the regular season for sure."

(on his thoughts on the information coming out on Mr. McNair) "I obviously didn't have much of a personal relationship with him before I got here, but he's been around a lot and it's great to see a team owner around and in to it and knowledgeable about what's going on and he's blown me away with all that stuff.  We are always happy to have him out here and happy to hear the good news, too."

(on if he's been told the number of plays he'll have in the first preseason game) "We haven't talked about reps.  With these games you kind of go in to it with however many days, or few days of preparation we put in to the opponent, but you go in to it just thinking we are going to execute what we do when we go out there. There's not a number on the amount of plays we are playing."

(on if they installed the gameplan today) "Yeah, we are still working on a lot of our stuff and you don't really do a whole lot of game planning for preseason games."

WR DeAndre Hopkins
(on excitement about playing another team) "It's great not beating up on each other out here. It's always good going up against an opponent."

(on Mr. McNair's situation) "Not too many guys really knew what was going on. They don't really inform us on too much of that because they don't want too much going through our heads. I'm not too informed on the whole battle. I just remember him coming out here and talking to us and telling us his situation. Just from talking to him, I know he's a strong, determined man and the outcome, I knew it was going to be what it was."

(on getting good news about Mr. McNair) "It's always great when somebody like Mr. McNair has been through what he's been through, and the outcome was what it was."

(on team being ready for first game) "I think we're ready; we've been out here, putting in blood, sweat, and tears on this field and I feel like we're ready to go out and play against an opponent."

(on this season feeling different than last) "No it doesn't feel different; I have the same mentality that I had last year, to go in and do my job."

CB Kareem Jackson
(on setting the tone on Saturday) "Definitely, whether it's preseason or whatever, when we're out there on that field we definitely want to set a tone as a defense and offensively as well, just as an overall team. It's our first test to see how far we've gotten and how much we've learned and to get out there and go against somebody else for the first time; it's definitely a chance for us to set a tone, so that's what we're definitely looking forward to going out there and doing."

(on being a leader of the group this year) "In terms of playing, not much different; I just have a bigger responsibility as far as being vocal with playing the inside position. I just want to go out as a team and definitely put our best foot forward, go out and do the little things right, fundamentally right, and execute on all cylinders."

(on emphasizing on turnovers) "Turnovers are definitely important for us to get defensively and offensively, not to let the other team cause turnovers. It's definitely a big part of the game, It can turn any game around, but for us to go out and definitely place great emphasis on that early in the season, it will definitely carry over throughout the season."

(on what Is different on the defense that will help in gaining more turnovers) "I think we're doing some different stuff, a lot more chances to see the ball, and just defensively, it's just all mindset this year to cause turnovers, be disruptive, and create some discomfort for the offense, so I think if  we can go out and do that, we will definitely be able to get some turnovers."

WR Andre Johnson
(on Bob McNair announcing he has cancer)"I had seen him—the first time I'd seen him this off-season I was just surprised at the way he looked and stuff like that. But to hear that is awesome and it's great to hear and I just love to hear he's doing well."

(on his injury status) "I'm feeling better. I'm feeling a little bit better day-by-day. That's just the way I'm looking at it—just taking it day-by-day. But I'm out doing stuff out here and just trying to get better and just ready to get back on the field."

(on if he will play this weekend) "I don't see that happening."

(on if Bob McNair ever let on about his cancer) "It's rough. I think sometimes when people go through certain things they have different ways of dealing with it. Everybody's got different ways of dealing with things. I think just him being healthy is a great thing to hear and that's all that matters."

(on what all of this says about Bob McNair as a person) "He's a tough guy. He's always about the team. When he sat down and talked to us as a team all he could talk about is how much he loves football and it's something that he loves being a part of and he wants to win. And that's why I'm here. I want to be here and help this organization."

(on if he has gone through a season like this season before) "Probably not. Things just happen just and you have to deal with them. I think it makes you tougher every person as a team. You know you can depend on the guys around you. That's just what being a part of a team is all about. We don't know what's to come tomorrow or what's to come in the future but whatever comes you just have to adjust to it whatever it is. We have our owner and (David) Quessenberry fighting and so far it's pulling through. I think with Quessenberry pulling through and he's a hard working guy so if you look at something like that in terms of duties it's a great thing. A lot of people in that situation would just give up. Just looking forward to seeing him as soon as he can get back out here. Hopefully everything will keep getting better."

WR EZ Nwachukwu
(on how big of an opportunity the first pre-season presents) "I think it's a pretty good opportunity for all of us, just to show what we got, show our talents out there, and to keep striving to be a better team, that's the objective."

(on what he wants to show coaches) "Just my overall talent. Overall, I want to show my route-running ability, my speed, my playmaking ability, so I think that's what all of us are trying to show and all of us are trying to put out a good product of."

(on workout drills after practice as a receiving group) "You know as a group, we're all trying to push each other to get better, so we're on the jugs, we're staying after with the quarterbacks talking over things and going over routes, going over adjustments, so anything that we can do, you know, talking with a quarterback and seeing what they see out there, that's going to help the team."

(on how much last year helped in preparing for this season) "I think it helped a lot because now I know what to expect, now I know how the season goes, how to prepare your body, how to get in the film room; you can't take anything for granted, so just having a year under my belt, just being able to look back on it and see how I can improve my game."

(on biggest difference in his game) "I would tell you I'm just more focused on the details, trying to focus more on the little things and trying to make sure I'm getting better day-in and day-out."

(on the differences coming from himself or being reinforced by new coaching staff) "I think both; Coach O'Brien coming over he definitely harps on the details in the meetings. He makes sure that he wants us to get better each day, not just come out here and go through practice and kind of lull. He wants you to get better at something, whether it's coming off of the ball or making the right read on a route; He wants to get better at little things."

(on how important blocking is in the offense) "I think it's very important; we have a bunch of playmakers out there and we're all trying to get better, so for the running backs to get better, the receivers have block; for the receivers to get better, the running back has to do his job, so we're all here, trying to get better with all of us, so we can't just focus on the passing game, you're going to have to block."

(on helping rookies) "They definitely ask me about little things whether it's like the schedule, how games go, or anything like that, so anything that I can help them out with, is big for me and is big for them as well. I want to see them succeed as well."

LB Brooks Reed
(on his thoughts on Bob McNair's announcement of his cancer) "Well obviously beating cancer is unbelievable and it takes a lot of dedication, a lot of heart, to get through that. And I'm just proud of him and Quessenberry who's going through that right now and fighting his battle."

(on Bob McNair ever letting on about his illness) "It didn't. Not until recently. I was quite shocked in finding that out, but it just shows how great of a man he is."

(on how anxious he is to hit somebody else other than his teammates) "I'm very anxious, being in my hometown. I'm bringing some of my family to watch so it'll be fun."

(on what the team needs to accomplish as a unit in the first preseason game) "I think as a unit we need to execute the defense call and have everyone on the same page, and really just compete out there and have fun, really, because that's what football is about. That's all the signs of a good football team."

(on getting communication down) "Yeah. It could always be better. It's—OB (O'Brien) makes it tough when he's pumping the music when it's toward the end of practice and guys are tired. He puts you in spots like that so it makes it easier in the game. You know, it's not as hot and not as loud, so it'd be good practice."

(on how different this year's coaching staff is from last year) "Yeah, most definitely. It's a lot different but it's helping us prepare for worse type situations and when the game is on the line, and it's loud, and it's hot, can we communicate? Can we all be on the same page and execute the defensive call at the same time so it's great practice being out here."

(on if he thinks he will play inside linebacker in the preseason game) "I don't really know but it's not impossible so I'm always prepared if I do have to."

(on if him, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus will rotate) "Yeah, that's probably what will happen but you never know what they intend on doing. They, you know, try to keep that a secret. So we'll see."

DE J.J. Watt
(on owner Bob McNair being given a clean bill of health) "I understand he's well. That's extremely, extremely happy news to all of us. He's a great guy, a great owner. I really enjoy playing for him. I'm obviously extremely happy to hear that he's healthy and well. And he looks good, so it's good to see him out here. He's got a little mustache going now, so I like that, too."

(on his first preseason experience and what that was like for him) "It was against the New York Jets. It was Monday Night Football here in Houston. It was very special. Obviously the first time you put on a game uniform in the NFL is a pretty big deal. That's a lot of work. That's an entire life of work. It's what every kid growing up playing football dreams about. Regardless if it's preseason and you play one play, 10 plays, when you put on that uniform, it's something special. It's an accomplishment, whether you make it beyond that play or not, it's an accomplishment. I have a lot of respect for anybody who makes it."

(on getting playing time in the preseason early on) "I think it's great. Obviously, (in the) preseason, you get a chance to go against another team. You get a chance to be in a game-like situation in a crowd, in a stadium. It's just a little bit different atmosphere, so you need to be able to get used to that so you can be ready for when it really starts."

(on how it feels when you hit the field for the first time) "I think every rookie is a little bit different. Everybody handles the situation a little bit differently. But it's definitely the real deal once you step out there. You realize that this is the National Football League, these guys are very good, but it's fun. It's a lot of fun. If you've done your work and you've done your preparation, you have absolutely nothing to be nervous about. So you go out there, you let loose and you have fun."

(on if the defense can set the tone for the weeks ahead even if they only play a limited amount of snaps) "Absolutely. I think any time you get a chance to play in a game-type situation, it's very beneficial. You get to go out there and you get to compete at the highest level possible and you fly around. You try to win every play. You give yourself some good teaching tape to go off of. You give yourself some good game knowledge and you get back into the flow, which is going to be fun."

(on when the nerves start to go away for players who making their preseason debut) "I think if you're prepared, you shouldn't really have many nerves. That's the way I always looked at it. If you've put in the time, you've put in the preparation, you've done all your work, then you just go out there and you play. I think that's the best way you go about it. It's when you're not prepared, that's when you get a little nervous. You just do your best to prepare."

(on what he is trying to accomplish Saturday) "I'm trying to go out there, compete, have fun, give myself some good tape to learn from and get our defense going, get our defense live and ready to roll. Have fun. It's football. There's nothing greater."

(on if it is a bit of an adjustment for him in a new defensive system) "No, I'm comfortable. I've obviously been doing a lot of work to get the playbook down, to get everything locked in. But at the end of the day, football is football. I can't wait to get out there on the field."

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